Holiday Novella

by Bethany Maines

A New Holiday Novella

Oh my goodness!  COVID down time actually came through for me this year and I have finished, yes that’s right actually finished, the holiday novella I’ve been planning on getting around to for last THREE years.  Way back in 2017 I completed what I would consider a long short story called Oh Holy Night about a graphic designer and a bank robbery that goes badly.  And then I followed that up with the award-winning Blue Christmas the following year.  Blue was about a college student, an adorable French Bulldog and a whole lot of smuggled diamonds. As you can guess from the descriptions, these aren’t the traditional Hallmark Christmas stories.  But they are romantic funny adventures about people who learn to love the Christmas season.

What Christmas Carol is Next?

Winter Wonderland completes the trilogy with a story about Bah-Humbug photographer Marcus Winters and a set designer Larissa “I love Christmas” Frost who find themselves involved in a robbery gone wrong and must solve the mystery of “whodunnit” before Larissa ends up in jail for a crime she didn’t commit.  The fun part about the novella is that it let’s me get back in the mystery writing zone.  And jeez, now I remember why that was hard! The clues, the suspects, the timeline!  Every time I write a mystery, I respect other mystery writer’s even more.

What is the question?

Every book has a question in it that the protagonists are trying to answer. Whether that question is philosophical to themselves and their world or whether it’s something literal like “where’s the money” the question has to be answered in a satisfactory way order to deliver on the promise of the book.  But with a mystery, not only are the protagonists trying to answer the question of “who committed the crime” the reader is too.  And staying a step ahead of the reader and the characters in the story is hard work for a writer. Authors can fall back on several tricks to make the mystery work–choosing when to reveal information, letting information exist on the page without drawing attention to it, deliberately calling out false clues (red herrings!)–but in the end, a mystery only works if the crime is solvable and for that a writer cannot whimsically wave their hand at the end.  An author has to know how, who, where, and why and then, if your me, also toss in a romance, some character development, and hopefully a decent turn of phrase.

It has been fun to venture into the mystery world once again and I’m more than pleased to complete the story that’s been on my to-do list for three years.  I hope that readers will enjoy it too.  Look for Winter Wonderland in November of 2022.

Want to know more about Winter Wonderland?

Click Here:

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Bethany MainesBethany Maines drinks from an arsenic mug the award-winning author of romantic action-adventure and mystery novels that focus on women who know when to apply lipstick and when to apply a foot to someone’s hind-end.  When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some serious butt with her black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You can also catch up with her on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and BookBub.





Bethany Maines drinks from an arsenic mug

Maverick Release Day

by Bethany Maines

Maverick Cover, a paranormal romance from Bethany MainesRelease Day

There comes a time in every author’s life when they just go mad and shout “EEET’S ALIVVVVVVVVVVE!” like a mad scientist.  Usually that time is 12:01 am on the release day of their latest book.

Yesterday was that day for me. Maverick, the latest in my Paranormal Romance world of the Supernaturals launched itself out into the world.  Each release day is a little different.  Sometimes we do it up big and smash champagne across the bow and sometimes it’s more of a Bon Voyage as we wave from shore.

Maverick is more of wave from shore launch.  The Three Colors Trilogy that set up the world were done in a “quick release” style with a book coming out every five weeks.  And while that was fun, it was also tiring.  Maverick is a stand-alone book in that same world, that for fans will answer some “but what happens next?” questions and for readers new to the world will be a fun introduction. And while I’ve scheduled a few things, I didn’t feel up to an entire launch sequence.

I enjoyed writing Maverick because although it is part of an existing world it isn’t part of a series.  Series are great because the world of the books gets developed and fleshed out, but they do cause all kinds of chaos and headaches in the plotting.  But with Maverick, I got all the fun of writing in a world where I knew all of the rules, but I didn’t have to worry about setting up the next book.  And the romance ends with a happily ever after (of course) and we can safely the main characters to their happy ending with out any cliffhangers or worrying that it will all be upended next book.

So if you’re looking for a spicy dose of paranormal romance and adventure that won’t leave you hanging – check out Maverick.  Or check out the Three Colors Trilogy for more shmexy shifters with their shirts off. I hope readers will enjoy them as much as I have!

MAVERICK: Maverick Lacasse—shifter wolf, bank robber, rebel—didn’t mean to take Deya Jasper with him on his way out of Littleton Texas, but fate had other plans. But as the two flee for California, vampires dog their every step, and both Deya and Maverick find themselves questioning if the unexpected bond they feel can withstand the dangers they face.





Bethany Maines the award-winning author of romantic action-adventure and fantasy novels that focus on women who know when to apply lipstick and when to apply a foot to someone’s hind-end.  She has published several independent novels, two novels with Atria, and many short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some serious butt with her black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You can also catch up with her on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and BookBub.

New Website

Welcome to the brand new website for the Stiletto Gang!

The Stiletto Gang is excited to announce our new website. We think you’re going to love it!

In fact, you are the reason we moved from Blogger to WordPress and created our new website. Readers were frustrated that they couldn’t get digest emails (sign up in the upper right corner!) And with more features, easier navigation, more info about each Gang member and our books, the new website is a breath of fresh air for our writers and readers alike.

We’ve moved the majority of our old posts over, so you can still find (and search) the old content and comment on the new posts.  In fact you check out all our posts in the Archives, read more about our author Gang, and check out our fabulous Books.

The gang is excited to be moving into this more technologically advanced era and we hope you are too!  Thank you to all of our past readers and welcome to any new ones.  We value your support and hope that we can provide entertaining and informative content.

Happy reading!

A Little Red

 by Bethany Maines

Tomorrow is release day for A Little Red, book 1 of my newest series – The 3 Colors Trilogy.  I’m trying several new things with this series. While I’ve written fantasy before, I’ve never tried my hand at paranormal romance.  I’m also using a quick release strategy and putting out the entire trilogy within 3 months so that everyone can binge on the completed series like Netflix.  And I’m using a low release week price (¢.99!!). With the new genre and the non-traditional sales strategies I have to admit that I’m nervous for tomorrow.

Those nerves have been a bit mitigated by the early reviews.  Whether or not the series is a sales success remains to be seen, but at least the Advance Readers are thoroughly enjoying the story. 

“This fantastic page-turner is a paranormal romance that sizzled, and it excited and riveted me. The beautiful plot, unique storyline, stylish writing, and careful development of the story and characters locked me in for the entire ride.”
– Readers’ Favorite 

The series is a fun, angsty romance trilogy with a trio of siblings as they meet and fall in love with shifter wolves. There are bad guy warlocks, good girl witches, and a few more magical beings roaming around because if I’m going paranormal I’m not stopping with wolves. The fun part about writing this series was trying to establish how each creature and species would interact with our modern world. Of course it also meant debating the proper system of capitalization of supernatural creatures and whether or not wolves liked blueberries.  Although, on the blueberries, I’m completely backed up by science – they do. A Little Red is, of course,  inspired by Little Red Riding Hood and even includes a grandma (don’t worry, she lives).  Bringing Little Red and her wolf together was enormously fun, and I’m happy to report that this fairy tale comes complete with a Happily Ever After.  I really enjoyed writing these tales of love, magic, and good vs. evil and I hope readers will enjoy taking the journey with me.  Here’s a quick little blurb, to find out more, try the links below.

A Little Red: Scarlet Lucas went out on Halloween dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, but she never expected her boss, the mysterious and ferociously attractive Liam Grayson to turn out to be the Wolf. But when Liam is the victim of a vicious attack that leaves him trapped in wolf form, Scarlet must face down not only warlocks, but Liam’s own pack in order to save him.





Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous
short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some
serious butt with her black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her
daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You can also catch up with her on Twitter, FacebookInstagram, and BookBub.

Bethany Maines’ The Cinderella Secret a book review by Juliana Aragon Fatula

Aiden Deveraux is a hot-shot lawyer with a secret identity—the mask wearing street-fighter named Number Nine. But when his family’s company is threatened, Aiden faces his toughest opponent yet, the brilliant and gorgeous Ella Zhao. Ella is in New York to bring down the people to blame for her father’s death—the Deveraux family—and she’s not about to let some Prince Charming lawyer like Aiden stop her. But as Aiden and Ella scramble to uncover the past that no one, including their own families, wants revealed, they find themselves running from a murderer who knows the Deveraux and Zhao all too well. With their hearts, lives, and millions of dollars on the line, Aiden and Ella may have to trust each other with their secrets if they want to make it out of this fight alive.

 Dear Reader, 

I’d love to introduce you to a new novel by Bethany Maines. The Cinderella Secret is my new favorite romance mystery. I love the characters and the author has a great sense of humor that makes me laugh out loud. 

The first book in this series The Second Shot hooked me and I waited patiently for this sequel to be written. The release date was October 19th, 2020 and I downloaded to Kindle and began reading. I read through breakfast, lunch, supper and until I could no longer keep my eyes open. I finished the book today and can’t wait to read the next one. 

What can I say, I’m a romantic fool and I love Bethany’s writing style. The action scenes are wild and full of kicking, punching, and smashing. The love scenes are wild with sex, sex, and more sex. The comedy keeps it light hearted and fun. 

I recommend this author to my friends and especially this book, The Cinderella Secret. It’s my new favorite and Bethany gets five stars for writing a book that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on and five stars for not disappointing in the sequel to the Second Shot. 

I’m hooked and I want to share these romance novels with you. Take my word for it you will fall in love with these characters and their crazy lifestyle of sex, money, and mayhem. 

New Things

 by Bethany Maines

I once had a cousin/uncle/grandparent-ish person (he was my second cousin once-removed if you want to get technical here, but the point is that he was in his eighties and I was around ten, you get the idea) who once posed the question that I probably wasn’t supposed to hear – what’s the difference between naked and nekkid?  Naked is simply having no clothes on.  Nekkid is naked, but with intent.  In other words, the difference is subtle and mostly to do with what you intend to do about it.  Which is how I feel about old and vintage.  

My general preference, when given a choice, is for old things.  Which is to say I like old books, old furniture, old clothes and my grumpy old dog.  Although, usually I say vintage, which is the same as old, but with character.  I don’t want new things (unless they’re electronics and sometimes not even then).  I want the things I’ve become accustomed to and work for me.  Which is why sometimes, even when something gets actually too old to use, I still hang on to it.  Recently, my favorite skull-n-crossbones mug developed an unfortunate hairline crack that resulted in it weeping tea over everything.  It was unusable but I hung on to it for two weeks.  What was I planning on doing with this mug?  It wasn’t fixable.  It wasn’t art.  Did I think it would magically heal itself?  It wasn’t until I had resigned myself to it’s passing that I was able to let it depart into the recycling bin.

I don’t think my preference for the old and familiar is particularly unusual.  I think most of us are little grumpy about being forced into new things.  We’re uncomfortable with being uncomfortable.  On the other hand, studies seem to indicate that actively being in a place of uncertainty and learning keeps Alzheimer’s at bay.  Being used to a little discomfort makes us appreciate what we have and have grace for those who also in discomfort. And I think that if a few more people were used to being told no and being a little more uncomfortable then they wouldn’t lose their cool and have public temper-tantrums in the middle of Target (why is it always Target?).  Perhaps we need new things periodically just to remind us that sometimes we don’t always get to keep our favorite mug.  And sometimes we need a new mug to tell us that everything will be OK.  As long as it looks vintage.

And Now…. Book News!

The Cinderella Secret is coming 10.19.20 and there are gifts, prizes, and sneak peeks for you to delve into! The Cinderella Secret is a romantic thriller that continues the Deveraux family saga, this time with Aiden Deveraux, the handsome lawyer going up against Ella Zhao who blames the Deveraux family for her father’s death. With family secrets and thrills at every turn, The Cinderella Secret delivers a one-two punch of passion and action that will keep readers turning the pages.

Pre-Order The Cinderella Secret on all ebook platforms:

Bonus Gift  (but just for my friends)

The Lost Heir, a Deveraux Legacy prequel novella, will be released in December, but members of the Blue Zephyr Press / Bethany Maines newsletter will receive it on October 19 with the release of The Cinderella Secret! 
Join here:


Want a chance to win a free copy of The Cinderella Secret? One lucky winner will also get a copy of Book 1 – The Second Shot.  Giveaway ends 10.17, so snag your entry now!
Enter at:

Try Before You Buy

Read Chapter 1 of The Cinderella Secret! 
Read here:


Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some serious butt with her black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You can also catch up with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and BookBub.

👈 The new mug

The Waffle House

by Bethany Maines

So, I forgot that I was supposed to blog today and instead used
my few minutes of writing time to write a scene where two of my characters go to
a Waffle House.  But as a west coast resident,
I’ve never actually been to a Waffle House. 
As a result, I spent way too much time looking at the Waffle House menu
on line and now I want hashbrowns and waffles. 
Sometimes we hear authors say that their characters speak to them.  My characters wouldn’t deign to do that.  They’re too busy talking to each other. And
honestly, if I left them to their own devices they would talk until my fingers
cramped up from trying to transcribe.  I
frequently have to cut off the conversations so that the story goes somewhere.  That’s part of the editing process, but these
conversations are excellent at helping me understand the characters.  When I discover what they find funny, what
they hate, what annoys them, and what their hard line stance is on Christmas
decorations after New Years, I can plunk them down in any situation and know
how they’ll react.  Which is how I know
that Jackson Deveraux would be quite happy at the Waffle House, but that he would
be shocked that his hoity toity grandmother Eleanor Deveraux knows to order Waffle
House hashbrowns scattered, smothered, and covered, but not chunked.  The Deveraux family is full of secrets and
surprises, but when I started writing about them I never would have thought
that hashbrowns would be one of the surprises.  The
Deveraux family, from my Deveraux Legacy, has become one of my favorite group of
characters.  They’re a very fractured
family that is struggling toward reconciliation while attempting to overcome the
periodic interruption of mercenaries, bank robbers, and greedy CEOs.

If you want to find out what the Deveraux family thinks
about Christmas décor you can check out book 1, The Second Shot, and
pre-order book 2, The
Cinderella Secret
(both currently ¢.99). 
Or you can…

Enter to win a paperback copy of The Cinderella Secret on

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Cinderella Secret by Bethany Maines

The Cinderella Secret

by Bethany Maines

Giveaway ends October 17, 2020.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Or you can join the Bethany Maines / Blue Zephyr Press Newsletter mailing list and get a free copy of the prequel novella, The Lost Heir in October! 


Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous
short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some
serious butt with her black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her
daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You can also catch up with her on Twitter, FacebookInstagram, and BookBub.

Review for Bethany Maines’s The Second Shot by Juliana Aragon Fatula

Dear Reader,

Bethany sent me an advanced copy of her new book, The Second Shot, that released October 24th. The moment it arrived, I dove in and began reading. I had no idea what to expect. I was hooked from the first chapter.

October 14, 2019

Review for Bethany Maines, The Second Shot five
stars out of five.

Bethany Maines has written
many mysteries. This was my introduction to her work. Now that I’ve read The
Second Shot
, I’m excited to read more of her mysteries. I have her book, Bulletproof
on my kindle. It’s next on my reading list.

I probably shouldn’t tell you
this, but Bethany Maines isn’t afraid to get dirty. She writes some amazing, sexy
love scenes. I loved the lust and romance. It was lusty but had love at the
heart of it. It’s a love story between Max, the U.S. Marshal, and Dominque, the
femme du monde
. They reminded me of the characters in the tv series, Moonlighting,
of the late 80’s where Bruce Willis and Cybil Shephard are opposites who fight
and argue but are drawn to one another by sexual attraction. Max and Dominique
are enemies who end up as lovers. The result is a delicious, sexy, battle of
wits and very entertaining.

Bethany’s characters, all of
them, are smart and funny. The sarcasm in the Deveraux clan dynamics brings a
reality to the family dysfunction. And the subtle politics of the story remind
the reader of actual events of today’s leaders.

The story opens with a memory
of the main characters’ first meeting and the book ends with their happily ever
after. A love story that made me happy.

“Maxwell Ames looked across
the room at Dominique Deveraux and felt himself physically flinch at a
memory-driven whip of embarrassment.” Excerpt From: Bethany Maines. The
Second Shot.

“Dominique had to physically
restrain herself from blurting out that she loved him and his beautiful, thoughtful
brain. They were two whole weeks into dating. The L word was the kind of thing
that sent people running. And seriously, she shouldn’t be saying that. It was
only two weeks! Even if she kind of, seriously, thought that she meant it.”
Excerpt From: Bethany Maines. “The Second Shot.”

I enjoy love stories, but this
is a mystery and the suspense and thrilling who dunnit scenes had me up all
night reading until I finished the book. It was a full moon. I have difficulty
sleeping during full moons. I usually sit up writing all night. It’s something
uncontrollable and brought on by astronomical laws of magnetism, or lunar
tides, or whatever. But I didn’t want to write. I wanted to read.

I enjoyed the sex scenes more
than I expected (blush) but the fact that these two main characters were
falling in love had a huge part of my interest in their coitus. That and the
fact that interruptions kept them from fulfilling their desires. It was
suspense in the bedroom and in the sinister scenes of being ambushed, shot at,
tackled, wrestled, beaten, and ran over by vehicles.

The ending left me wanting to
find out more about what happens next to these characters. Bethany carefully
teases with just enough information to drive her readers to the next chapter
and the sequel.

Bethany Maines, new favorite
author of mine, and someone I highly recommend to anyone interested in reading
a smart, sexy, witty book on mystery, romance, and stilettos.

Some of Bethany Maine’s

Carrie Mae Mysteries

Bulletproof Mascara
from (#1)

Compact with the Devil

Supporting the Girls: A
Carrie Mae Mini-Mystery

Power of Attorney: A
Carrie Mae Mini-Mystery

High-Caliber Concealer

Glossed Cause (#4)

San Juan Islands Murder

An Unseen Current

Against the Undertow

An Unfamiliar Sea

Shark Santoyo Crime

Shark’s Instinct

Shark’s Bite

Shark’s Hunt

Stand Alone Novels

Wild Waters

Tales from the City of